Tennessee electric vehicle owners share experiences owning one

Electric vehicle production is the next big wave in Tennessee’s multibillion-dollar automotive industry. General Motors announced it will build a $2.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Spring Hill, while Nissan already manufactures the all-electric Nissan LEAF at its Smyrna plant.

We asked five electric vehicle owners in Middle Tennessee what enticed them to purchase their cars, what problems they’ve encountered and whether they think their next cars will be electric (spoiler: most said yes).

More:GM aims to eliminate gas vehicles by 2040. Here’s what it means for Spring Hill’s electric vehicle plant.

Paul Rowland, Tesla Model 3 owner since 2019

Any lifestyle changes?

Lifestyle really hasn’t changed much. The Model 3 has just as much space as my old Honda Accord. If you find yourself needing to drive more than 200 miles often, I would purchase the largest capacity battery you can afford.

Have you saved money?

Extrapolating out 8+ years, the lack of oil changes, gas, brakes (etc.) means the total cost of ownership for an electric vehicle is low compared to an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle.

Will you buy again?

I will never purchase another internal combustion engine vehicle. If Tesla is still around when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle in another 6-10 years, I will probably buy another one from them as they were great to work with and I’ve had 0 problems after 2 years of ownership.

A group of finished Nissan Leafs await shipment at the Smyrna plant Feb. 26, 2018.

Chris Lee, Chevy Volt owner since 2016

Note: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt are driven by an electric motor. They can recharge a depleted battery using an onboard gas-powered engine.

What’s your favorite part of owning one?

When we had the gas shortages, it was good to have electric power, and then when the power went out, it could use gas, so the flexibility is nice.

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